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Virt-x still struggling for volume

Hunziker-Ebneter is critical of Swiss banks for their lack of support Keystone Archive

The director of the pan-European blue chip trading platform, virt-x, says the venture must show a rapid increase in its non-Swiss volume.

This content was published on February 13, 2002 - 09:22

The increase is needed if it is to meet its objective of trading 10 per cent of European shares by the summer, the director says.

In an interview with the French language newspaper, Tribune de Genève, Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter, said virt-x needed to triple or quadruple its non-Swiss volume in the next four months.

It currently has around 8 per cent of the market, with around 95 per cent of its volume coming from Swiss blue chips. Its daily non-Swiss volume is currently worth around SFr120 million.

Joint venture

The London-based virt-x was launched last June as a joint venture between the Swiss Exchange's blue-chip sector and the British platform, Tradepoint.

With its launch, the Swiss exchange became the first to transfer trading in its blue chips abroad.

But many banks have shown little appetite for using virt-x for non-Swiss blue chip trading even when the exchange can match or even improve the price offered by the national exchange where the stock is listed.

"We are concentrating on the main European stocks and are endeavouring to increase our volume progressively. That takes time," said Hunziker-Ebneter.

Hunziker-Ebneter said she was still convinced that a pan-European exchange had a viable future but was critical of the Swiss banking sector and its perceived lack of support for virt-x.

"Credit Suisse and UBS are not the only ones responsible," she said, "Other banks have played a role too."

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